Jeffrey Hatcher’s Hamlet at the Illusion Theater

Credit: Aaron Fenster

Credit: Aaron Fenster

Do you remember when you were first bitten by the theatre bug? If you’re Jeffrey Hatcher you do. The place was Miss K.Smith’s fifth-grade class in Steubenville, Ohio.

After becoming obsessed with Hamlet the previous summer, 11 year-old Jeffrey convinces his teacher the class should produce this show for their annual show. Of course young Jeffrey will direct. It isn’t long until he encounters the pitfalls of theatre; temperamental actors, pushy producers, problems securing set pieces and props, was well as last minute revisions.

Jeffrey Hatcher’s Hamlet, which opened the Illusion Thetater’s 40th Season, isn’t just a one many show walk down memory lane. This show is more than that. This show makes you think back to the plays you did in school, (at some point we all were involved in a school or church sponsored production of some kind), the various hurdles we all had to jump to make the show run. For Hatcher, being involved in this production of Hamlet led him down a path as a prolific playwright whose works are adapted and produced around the country.

The show isn’t long or overly deep in content, but there are several smile-inducing opportunities as we learn about the young Hatcher’s first foray into directing. With Hatcher’s way with words and descriptive analysis of the events taking place you can close your eyes and easily be transported back to Miss K. Smith’s fifth-grade class and become a part of history.

Jeffrey Hatcher’s Hamlet runs through October 25 at the Illusion Theatre. For more information on the show, visit the theatre’s website.

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